Programme overview

The programme of this year's Annual Conference includes a wide range of activities:

  • Opening and closing plenary sessions
  • Master classes – to hear the latest from high profile experts and thought leaders
  • Workshops – to delve deeper into key issues and strategies
  • Case studies – to hear how other organisations are responding to the same challenges
  • How-to sessions – to develop the skills to succeed in your role in the Network
  • Matchmaking – a space to network, share company profiles and ideas
  • Working meetings – time and space for Network partners to get down to work on specific issues
  • National meetings – National consortia can take advantage of the rooms available at the venue to organise their own meetings on Wednesday 22 November

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Use the hashtag #EEN17 to tweet about the conference!


Download the FINAL DETAILED conference programme with speakers as pdf here.


Legends - Activities


Digitalisation of the European Industry – Challenges and Opportunities


Funding and investment opportunities for SMEs


Innovation management




Aiming at excellence: Internal Network tools and process






Registration – Meet & Greet – Welcome lunch


 Opening Plenary Session

Featuring: Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia; Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, European Commission; Kristin Schreiber, Director, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and Julien Guerrier, Director, EASME.
Keynote speaker: Kaidi Ruusalepp, Founder and CEO of Funderbeam.

Moderator: Katrina Sichel




 matchmaking area




Bilateral meetings









Coffee break - Catering area

Speakers' Corner - Level 3


Artis 1 

Apollo 5 

Apollo 6 

Artis 2 

Apollo 7 



Going global: how the EU  helps SMEs to internationalise 


 An update on the overall EU framework for supporting SME internationalisation, followed by a discussion on possible synergies and improvements

How can the EEN best work with the new European Innovation Council?


 This session will provide updates on the setting up of the EIC and discuss how it can build on the work done by the EEN.


The digital transformation of SMEs: key challenges 


 SMEs are facing challenges in today's increasingly digitised business. This session will feature a panel discussion and exchange with the audience on what the EEN can do to best support them. 

POD without 'offers' and 'requests': build your website around what users
actually want


How can you have a website better meeting the needs of your clients? 

Crowdfunding – options, skills, thesis, and a scenario


What is crowdfunding and how can it help your clients?  This workshop explores how, including synchronising it with other financial instruments.

Upgrading innovation management in SMEs


This session will focus on the key steps in the innovation management client journey.





Implementing the Vision


The EEN's Vision document now needs to be turned into reality: this session will discuss how.

Linking Horizon 2020 and COSME EEN services


 How to better structure the link between EEN-COSME and Horizon 2020 activities for the benefit of the client SMEs.

Bringing Merlin to a new era


 An interactive brainstorming on the state of play and future development of the Network's main IT tools.

So, tell us your story


This hands-on session gives the tools to tell a memorable story as well as inspiration and ideas on how to use stories in your work.  

Making the connection: engaging with Eureka and Eurostars


Improve your understanding of what Eureka and Eurostars offer and how working together can help your clients.


Digitalise your retail business


 Find out about the latest e-commerce pratices and technologies in Europe and case studies. Help your clients embrace new opportunities arising in the retail sector.

Apollo 1

Is international cooperation the new innovation?


Get to know EU projects dealing with SME internationalisation, including Business Beyond Borders, Gateway / Business Avenues, Innovation Centres and many others! 



Networking Dinner at the Seaplane Harbour 

Dress code: Cocktail dress & smart attire







catering area
Welcome Coffee 





matchmaking area


Bilateral meetings 















Artis 1 

Apollo 5 

Apollo 6 

Artis 2 

Apollo 7 

Re-shaping EEN Single Market Services to address new challenges


This workshop will show how the EEN can reshape its Single Market Services as part of the implementation of the Vision, including areas to focus on to generate more impact and client engagement.


SME Instrument business acceleration services​ 


An insight into these services and the Network's role in them.

Innovation Masterclass: Innovation Strategy


This session will look at how to better implement innovation management support and assessment, including through a new practical tool: the Innovation Strategy Canvas.

How to help SMEs to gain access to finance and give a successful pitch


This workshop focuses on a critical aspect an
SME faces when planning an investment decision: the relationship
with the
potential investor

EEN meets Watify: SME digital transformation and why it matters


Inspire your clients to transform their businesses with the help of the Watify campaign. The workshop will also identify how the campaign can better interact with the Network. 

Social media with dignity and grace

More Network partners than ever are using social media. Colleagues will share their experiences and provide insights into what works and what doesn't and the latest tools. Other experiences and ideas welcome!. 




Coffee break - Catering area
Speakers' Corner -
Level 3 






Design Thinking
parts 1 & 2
11.00 – 13.00

This workshop consists of and links two “must haves” of modern business development: business model concept and design thinking method. We will discuss how to use them both for the biggest impact on our clients.



Boost your
brokerage events and matchmaking


Best practice and lessons learned from a range of Network partners


Scale-up Lab - helping ambitious businesses grow and scale


 This session will showcase what the Network is doing to help businesses scale up, including the work of the new Scale-up Thematic group and the work of Scale-up Advisors.

Breaking the silos, bringing multiple EU services to the business community

 Presentation of the EU Open4Business campaign organised since 2015 in cooperation with the EEN local partners of the target countries. Focus will be on innovations introduced in 2017. In this session we will explore together with the EEN partners who hosted the events the lessons learned and the way ahead for 2018.

Seeking business impact – synergies  with Interreg Europe


 Learn how a Network partner can achieve
business impact for their clients through
the Interreg Europe project NICHE, including the use of the IMP³rove
Assessment tool.

 Digital Innovation: analysing a company's digital innovation


This session will explore how to make use of the Digital Innovation Quotient and how to best build it into the broader service portfolio the Network offers to highly innovative companies.






Lunch break - Catering area
Speakers' Corner - Level 3 




Tapping innovation potential


 This will cover two aspects: the Innovation Radar: an EU initiative identifying and monitoring high potential innovations, and ways in which EEN can work with technology centres to help SMEs take up advanced technologies.


Partnering process: your roadmap for a successful client journey


This session will explain how the partnering process work and promote best practice.


Helping SMEs to digitalise: good practices from EEN host organisations


Many host organisations have developed services to help SME clients to digitalise, digitalising themselves at the same time. Representatives from Chambers of Commerce & Industry will discuss what they have learnt.


It's good to go green: helping SMEs benefit from the green economy

 This workshop will look at the opportunities available from resource efficiency and clean energy and how EEN members can encourage clients to use these.

Public Procurement for Innovation –demand-driven R&D&I opportunities


Share your ideas and experience in this interactive round table session

Connect with the world – showcases for BCC cooperation


An interactive workshop showcasing cooperation with third countries through projects and success stories. 



  Coffee break - Catering area
Speakers' Corner - Level 3


Closing Plenary Session and Best Practice Awards
Closing speech: Kristin Schreiber,
Director, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
Moderators: Katrina Sichel & Susanne Baden


A special moment to relax

and catch-up with Network colleagues







catering area
Welcome Coffee 



matchmaking area


Bilateral meetings 


Artis 1

Apollo 5

Apollo 6

Artis 2

Apollo 7

National meeting: Hungary

EEN Pilot projects information session:
enhancing participation of women in the H2020 SME Instrument and opportunities for entrepreneurs in the sharing economy

Thematic Group executives: state of play

Thematic group kick-off meeting: Circular Economy

National Meeting: Czech Republic


Match meeting


catering area 
Coffee break


National meeting: Germany 

 National meeting: France Sector Group meeting: Creative industries Sector Group meeting: Maritime  

LATAM BCC meeting

11.30 - 13.00

National meeting: Poland

      Thematic group meeting: Access to Finance 





Monday 20th November

15:30-16:00 – Speaker: ARCTIK SPRL/ DG ENV

Business support tools for environmental innovation and management for the circular economy


Tuesday 21st November

10:45-11:15 – Speaker: EU–OSHA

EEN OSHA Awards promoting safety and health at work in SMEs


12:30-13:00 – Speaker: Technopolis Group

H2020 project: Capturing innovation impulses from emerging economies


13:30-14:00 – Speaker: ECHA

10 years of REACH – achievements and challenges


15:15-15:45 – Speaker: Small Business Standards (SBS)

The voice of European SMEs in standardisation